Monday, December 28, 2009

December 28th - Last email for 2009

Hello Everyone,

So I tried sending an e-mail on Christmas day but when I went to send it the computer froze and deleted everything. So here is a recap of what has happened.

This past week was super slow because people were out of town for Christmas or they told us to come back after the Holidays. I'm excited for this week to be able to go back to work and teach. I don't want to say that last week was super unsuccessful because we did have two baptisms on Saturday for Stephanie and Kyle. The baptism went great; they both had a great experience. Kyle is 8 and Stephanie is his Mom. Both of Kyle's parents were not members so he is considered a convert. They both became interested in the Church when Kyle told Stephanie that he wanted to go to church. Elder Call and I stopped by after we heard they went to Church and to our surprise Stephanie had sent away several Missionaries in the past but for some reason said that we could come back and teach Her and Kyle. She later told us that she didn't know why she let us back but she just felt right about us. I think that Stephanie is one I was sent to Idaho to bring into the fold because it took the right Missionaries at the right time to help her.

Stephanie's 13 yr old son, Chance, we think might be interested in taking the lessons now that he watched his Mom and Brother learn.

We found out transfer information last night and Elder Call and I are staying in St. Anthony. It's weird now that I think about it because I will be about 10 minutes away from Torie, Tasia, and Jessica when they come up here to BYU-I in January. I never thought I would be so close to my friends when I went on a mission.

Elder Call received the new assignment as our District Leader and Elder Lagazo (our current district leader) is going to be our new Zone Leader. Elder Call joked this morning saying he knows why he is going to follow up training me, it's so he can do it properly the second time. That isn't true though, he did a great job of training.

I'm excited to stay here because we have several people that either have a baptism date in January or who will have one this week. It's weird because there are two boys, Treven and Carson, both are 10 and they both want to be baptized but their parents haven't given permission yet. The reason I say it's weird is because although we baptized 6 this transfer I haven't felt satisfied yet because those two haven't been able to be baptized yet. I hope I get to see that happen this transfer.

Last night we spent a few hours in the Dentist office because our district leader, Elder Lagazo, had serious pain in some teeth. I called up one of our ward mission leaders and he gave me a few dentists to call in the ward. We got a hold of one of them and he met us in his office. Long story short Elder Lagazo had to have three shots of that numbing stuff and had a serious root canal. He's doing alright now but he was in serious pain last night.

Well I think that is all of the updates for this last week. I am keeping the same address so please continue sending letters there. If you send it to the mission office first I usually receive them a few days later then if they are sent directly to St. Anthony.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and will have a great New Year.

Peace and Love,
Elder Tyson Rigby Walker

Christmas Day

Elder Walker sent this email on Christmas Day:

So I had typed a whole e-mail to everyone telling them about our baptisms and basically everything we talked about today on the phone. I went to go send it and the computer said that it lost the connection and deleted the e-mail. Dang. So can you do me a big favor and just post something summarizing the phone call and things that I told you?

1. almost leading the mission in baptisms

2. calling home today

3. 3 baptisms last week, 2 tomorrow

4. the polygamist family

5. and wish everyone a merry christmas

Thanks Mom, you're the greatest! I love you so much and hope you have a great day. It was so nice to talk with you today, I look forward to Mother's day. Merry Christmas, Love Elder Walker

So - I asked Tyson's Dad to help me out and he composed this note:

The highlight of our Christmas weekend, wasn't necesarily the time off work, or spending it with grandkids, or the new snow, or the two sets of Elders who spent Christmas day with us....but it was the conference call that we had as a family on Christmas morning, and having both of our missionaries on the phone at the same time. What a wonderful time that was.

Since this is Tyson's blog, I will just say that he is doing well and is very happy. He is very spoiled in his first area, by it being the nearly the top baptizing area of his mission. He had three baptisms just prior to Christmas and then another two on Saturday.

Ironically, one of the Elders who spent Christmas day with us, is from Sugar City, only 5 miles away from Tyson. His mother called me last night to report that another of her sons had spoken in Church in St. Anthony yesterday and she was there to support him. Lo and behold, Tyson was there to confirm the two people that they just baptized on Saturday. I was so thrilled to hear her report that she knew exactly which one was Elder Walker because of the huge smile on his face after the confirmations. After the meeting she wanted to give him a big hug, but refrained. She reported that he was so happy, and doing very well.

In the conference call on Friday, Tyson did say that he was working hard and enjoying much success. He also reported something funny, in that they were teaching a woman from a polygamist family. So that's a first for him, and I'm sure it would be for many others too.

In the conversation also, he asked that we extend his very best wishes for a Merry Christmas and very Happy and prosperous New year to all of his family and friends, that he misses a lot.

Monday, December 14, 2009

December 14th Letter Home

Hello family!

So the Christmas spirit is setting in! We just got several inches of snow and the Christmas lights/trees are almost all up. Although this season is making me really sad not to be home sharing this Holiday with my family, I am really busy sharing the gospel with everyone. I know that Christmas day is going to be a really hard day but for now everything is all good.

I love sharing the gospel this season because people seem to be more receptive to us. This season helps us all focus on what is most important, the Savior and our Families which makes it easier to help others to come unto Christ.

Good news! We have 5 people with baptism dates for Dec! Our district is only 4 Elders but between the 4 of us we are second to leading the mission in baptisms with 11 dates this month plus the 2 that we've already had. President Walker, the stake president for the St. Anthony stake wants our area to lead the mission in baptisms so the stake had a fast focused on missionary work a month or so ago. We are now seeing the fruits of that labor. President Colton has asked us our thoughts on bringing in 2 more missionaries in this stake because there is that much work to do.

I don't know if I've told you this yet or not but President Colton told me when he assigned me to St. Anthony that my mission is now down hill because I've started off in the best part of the mission. He was right, I am in the best part of the mission (knock on wood; I don't want to get transfered).

One of our ward mission leaders is going to be in Denver next week and asked for my home address so he can stop by and visit with Mom and Dad. I gave him the address and both cell phone numbers. His name is Kurt Harrison and is the best WML in the world. He has done more for us than any other person in this stake. I hope you will be able to visit with him.

Well Mom, you asked for a Christmas list. I don't know what I would want though. It's hard to want things as a missionary. There are a few things that I need though:

1. 2010 stake directory

2. Juice Plus (I'm almost out)

3. Some more CDs because we spend a lot of time in the car and have listened to them all about 15 times. I don't know if you've done this yet but if you could please send Christmas music. I really really need some Christmas music.

4. Any sort of scarves you can find. I love scarves.

So I have met so many people that I'm related to! I'm pretty sure that every other dinner appointment I'm related to the family. Our dinner on Saturday night apparently knows Grandma because I think she said that Grandma called her and told her to tell me hi. Her name is Sister Miller and is a great grand daughter of William F. but it is weird because she is older than Grandma but Grandma is a grand daughter. So if you want to let Grandma know that I talked with her and got her message of hello that would be great!

We also are activating one of Grandma's cousin's daughters. Grandma's cousin Gene Rigby's (Rulon Gene Rigby) daughter, Julie Murri, is who we are meeting with.

I know that I was sent here to find our family. Which has led me to think that if we never moved to Colorado chances are that I would not have been called to the Pocatello mission. It's cool to see how the spirit has directed us to Colordao for so many reasons.

Well we've got to get to Rexburg. I love you all very much! Have a great Holiday season and remember that our purpose as members of the Church is to invite others to come unto Christ.

Peace and love,
Elder Walker

Monday, December 7, 2009

Family and friends,

This past weekend has been the best weekend so far (even though I've only had three) in the field. It started off with my first baptism!
The baptism was successful and hilarious. The boy's name that was baptized is Jake and his 80 year old grandfather baptized him who just got active in the church so this baptism was new for both of them.
Jake is 15 and a big kid and his grandpa is tiny. I was a witness and the first time he went down Jake's head didn't go all the way under so they had to do it again but Jake's grandpa didn't know he had to say the prayer again so he just threw him under the water without holding him or supporting him or anything. Jake was squirming and had to get himself up out of the water. We were all laughing so hard. The third time was a success and Jake was really happy. It was so great to be a witness at my first baptism. After that event I realized the significance of my purpose as a missionary... "invite others to come unto Christ..."
Jake didn't know any piano players so I volunteered myself. I loved being behind a piano again and inviting the spirit through music. I've always loved the piano and have cherished the talent, but now I can give back to the Lord with the talent he has given me. So many missionaries have told me that they wish they knew how to play the piano. I just smile and say I would too if it wasn't for my Mom. I have loved every time I've been asked to play. Especially when the Assistants ask.
Next great thing that happened was an event last night. We were given a referral for a family called the Westovers. We knew that they had fed the missionaries in the past but didn't know what their interest was in the church. We decided to stop by a few weeks ago and ask if they would be interested in meeting with us. After a few moments of silence, Stephanie, the mom, said well we have never allowed missionaries to teach us but I will this time. We were so excited! We were told that we could teach Stephanie and her son Kyle who is 8. We consider him an over aged youth because his parents are both not members. So we taught them Lesson 1. It was good, not great, but the spirit was strong during the first vision. So we set up a return appointment. At our Zone Conference this past week President Colton told us that unless the spirit directs you not to invite people to be baptized you should always do so in every lesson. Elder Call and I had discussed inviting her for the 19th of this month. So we go in to teach last night and decided that we would teach the 3rd lesson which is the Gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end). We talked about the first two points and towards the end of repentance the spirit so strongly told me that she was to be baptized on the 26th of this month and that I was to invite her immediately. So I interrupted Elder Call and said, "Stephanie, I would be dishonest if I didn't tell you what the spirit just told me (at this point I started to get emotional). Our Heavenly Father desires you and Kyle to be baptized on the 26th of this month. You know this Gospel is true because I can feel of your testimony. Will you follow the example of our Savior and be baptized on the 26th of December?" With tears in her eyes both Kyle and Stephanie accepted the invitation. I tell you what, I have never had a prompting so strong or so bold in my life. The Lord knows us all so personally and so individually. In just two weeks Stephanie went from not sure if she was to meet with us, to feeling the spirit testify to her that she is to be baptized in a few weeks. How great is my calling! I love missionary work. This is the Lord's work and I just merely spoke the words that the spirit directed me to say. I know that Stephanie and Kyle are ones that I was sent here to Idaho to bring into the "fold".
I know this work is the work of the Lord. To all my friends out there that are trying to find the truth let me give you some advice; God only speaks truth, and only truth prevails. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints is God's truth and it prevails. "The truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent... till the great Jehovah says the work is done." This is my testimony and all the represents me. I am the Lords missionary and He has chosen me to represent him. How great is my calling.
I love you all so much. I know there are many more great stories to come. Although Idaho is freezing it is "burning up" with missionary work.

peace and love,

Elder Walker

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December Address

Please send all mail/packages to the following address for the month on December 2009

Elder Tyson R Walker
684 North 2100 East
St. Anthony, ID 83445